Helpful Hints for the Question and Answer Session


  • Anticipate questions that the class might ask (by putting yourself in their shoes), and prepare to answer similar questions.
  • Practice asking each other questions
  • Group potential questions into “categories,” or topics-prepare some answers
  • Develop a plan for how questions will be answered:
    • Will group members simply take turns by answering them based on a rotation?
    • Will the material be divided up into categories of expertise so that each group member will serve as the expert who can answer a certain type of question?
    • How will group members let each other know if help is needed when answering a tough question?
    • Will group members be allowed to “add on” to each other’s answers?


  • Answer concise and direct – if a yes or no is a sufficient answer, leave it at that.
  • Repeat or rephrase the question before you answer.
  • Listen to the ENTIRE question before answering.
  • Have a plan for a time when you do not have the answer to a question:
    • You can say, “I don’t know.”
    • You can ask another group member for help.
    • You can tell the audience you will do further research and get back to them.
  • If you do not understand a question, ask the audience member to repeat it.
  • Make eye contact with the person asking the question, but scan the audience when answering.

Sticky Situations…

  • What if a group member answers the question incorrectly?
    • Carefully provide the correct information without embarrassing your fellow group member (“I think Bob may have misunderstood your question, what I think you were asking was…”).
  • What if someone asks a question that the presentation covered?
    • Answer the question again; consider explaining it in a different way.
  • What if an audience member becomes rude or disruptive?
    • Stay calm; ask other audience members if they have questions; ask the person to speak individually after the presentation; defuse loaded questions before answering.